July start could still allow 18-game CFL season this year: report

Even if the kick-off to the 2021 Canadian Football League season is delayed, there could be a full schedule played.

According to Postmedia reporter Dan Barnes, should the start get held up by collective bargaining negotiations or COVID-19, an entire regular season, playoffs, and Grey Cup would still be possible.

One source suggested a July start could still allow for an 18-game campaign if the entire pre-season was scrapped, the regular-season schedule was compressed and the date of the Grey Cup in Hamilton was flexible.

They might have to move all the way to mid-July, but if that strategy results in fuller stadiums and a full season, it will be worth the delay to both the CFL and its players.

The CFL unveiled its 2021 schedule last November with the pre-season scheduled to begin on Sunday, May 23, while the regular season is slated to get underway on Thursday, June 10, and the Grey Cup in Hamilton on Sunday, November 21.

The league and union began meetings during the second week of February with a focus on playing football this year. The two sides have submitted return to play health and safety plans to various levels of government in Canada.

Commissioner Randy Ambrosie has promised plenty of football during the current year.

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